THE SKUNK IN ILLINOIS
A striped skunk is about the size of a domestic cat, but its legs are much shorter. Male skunks range from 3 to 11 pounds, while female skunks tend to be smaller at 2 to 6 pounds and can reach 20 to 30 inches in length. Skunks are omnivorous (eating equal amounts of plant , animal and insects). Insects are the preferred food. Skunks will eat mice, eggs, birds, and berries. Skunks will often dig for grubs leaving conical holes in lawns and yards. This activity usually begins late summer/early fall causing extensive damage to lawns.
Breeding begins in February and lasts through March. The pregnancy ranges from 62 to 72 days. Litter sizes range from a litter of 4 to 10 kits born from early May to June. Young skunks begin to leave the den and take short trips with their mother by late June or July.
Striped skunks are common throughout Illinois. Striped skunks are digging machines and will dig dens to live in and raise their young. Striped skunks are abundant in urban areas, especially those located along railroads or high tension power lines because these features provide travel corridors and denning sites. In addition to these areas, skunks very often will dig dens under concrete porches, stoops and sidewalks. It is also common for skunks to dig dens under sheds and decks. Striped skunks are active at night (nocturnal) and occasionally during early morning or late evenings. Skunks are slow moving. Their senses of sight, hearing and smell are poor. When cornered or pursued, they usually face the intruder, arch their backs, raise their tails, and stamp the ground with their front feet. If a skunks warning is ignored, it turns around with its tail raised, ready to spray its foe. Skunks are not true hibernators and will venture outside in winter. As many as 10 skunks (usually all females) have been found together in winter dens, but many live alone.
DISEASES RELATED TO SKUNKS
There is cause for concern when skunks take up residence in urban areas because they are carriers of rabies. It is because of this fact alone that all striped skunks trapped in Illinois must be euthanized. Other diseases include leptospirosis, listeriosis, canine distemper, canine hepatitis, tularemia and trypanosome.
TRAPPING AND REMOVING SKUNKS
We have years of experience with trapping and removing skunks. We trap skunks using specially made traps that are fully enclosed to prevent your house from being sprayed directly. Because of the nature of skunks we cannot guarantee a skunk will not spray once inside the trap, if the skunk should spray the odor will be minimal outside the trap and dissipate quickly. We also use a very effective deodorizer that can eliminate the smell.
Once we have trapped and removed your skunks, we are able to seal off that area, preventing any skunk intrusion and we will guarantee it in writing.